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Where’s your blockage?

17th December 2020

Where’s your blockage?

There are a few telltale signs that something is going wrong, somewhere within your drainage system. The indicators can vary by room, and each may require a different solution to resolve the problem.

For drains to work effectively – that is, for water to leave your property – air needs to be enabled to move in the opposite direction, moving over the top of the water. If the air can’t move its way back up your system, your drain will struggle to ‘breathe’. The result is a lot of glugging, some potentially nasty smells and your entire water system being impacted.

In most cases, it’s a blockage that will cause this to happen. A blockage that fills half your pipe will lead to slow-flowing water – which is a nuisance – and some unpleasant odours. However, a blockage that takes up all the space in a pipe can cause some serious issues, no matter where in the house the clog is.

As well as slowly draining water, some other tell-tale signs you have a blockage somewhere in your drainage system include:

  • Damp patches inside or outside of your property – whether it’s moist walls or wet patches on your ceiling, damp can often indicate you have a broken drain, or that your drain is leaking onto the damp course of your house.
  • Cracks in the wall – cracks on your internal and external walls are an indicator that the ground is moving. This could be due to subsidence or could be due to old, tired or broken drains.
  • Puddles – finding puddings or standing water near the drain covers in your garden or driveway can show that the drains running away from your home are blocked. Additionally, if you’re finding large puddles on your lawn (at a time when it hasn’t rained heavily) there may be a drainage issue there.


Essentially, if you have water in places you wouldn’t expect it, your first thought should be your drains. To get the issue resolved, you should call out a drainage engineer; they will be able to diagnose the issue – including where on your property a blockage is located –  simply by looking at the make-up of your house and assessing the damp or wet area in question. From there, they’ll be able to use various techniques to repair the problem.

To help you get to the root of the issue faster, and so you’re able to provide us with more knowledge when you call to book an engineer, we’ve put together this speedy symptom checker, broken down by room, which explains how a drainage issue will reveal itself and the type of treatment that might be needed to fix it:


blocked plug hole

Potential issues: Toilet, sink, bath, shower, bidet

Telltale sign: Slow running water, glugging, foul smells

The culprit: Hair, soap scum, wipes

Metro Rod solution: We’ll remove the waste trap and use a high powered wet vac to efficiently suck the contents out of your blocked pipe rather than allow the materials to get more entangled and cause serious damage later down the line.


Blocked sink

Potential issues: Dishwasher, sink

Telltale sign: Glugging, unpleasant smell

The culprit: Fats, grease, oil and discarded food

Metro Rod solution: We’ll use a high powered, electromechanical machine which reaches deep into pipes, rotates to clean the internal edges of oil and grease build-up and pulls out clogs of fat and food.


Blocked gutter

Potential issues: Drainpipe, guttering, drain covers

Telltale sign: Standing water, puddles

The culprit: Debris, garden waste, leaves, blockages from within the household

Metro Rod solution: We’ll use a high-pressure water jetting machine which blasts the inside of your pipes and pushes a blockage far enough down for it to leave your system and join the general sewage system. We’ll also use CCTV drain cameras to inspect the drain after jetting.

Lots of other drainage companies don’t include these solutions as standard within their call-out rates. Many will charge a fee for assessing and diagnosing your drainage issue but will book a second appointment to bring the right equipment to the site which simply prolongs your issue.

Metro Rod vans are always equipped with the tools and resources to ensure your drainage issue can be resolved on the spot, using the knowledge and expertise of our trusty engineers. Like you, we want to get to the root of the problem, and fast, so we bring everything we might need to your door. In the majority of cases, we’ll be able to fix your problem first time.

For more information on our services for your home visit our drain unblocking and repairs for your home page, or to book an appointment call us on 0800 66 88 00.

Talk to you local metrorod specialist

Talk to your local Metro Rod specialist

We are always happy to arrange a free site assessment and no obligation quotations for any work you might need. Alternatively, you can call our emergency hotline number on 0800 66 88 00

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